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May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’

It’s Official: Justice Brandeis Wants his Name Back

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Of all the absurd positions Brandeis University has taken over the years, the latest really may be the final straw.

Last year Brandeis suffered widespread disgrace for revoking an offer to grant an honorary degree to a Muslim-born advocate for women and children’s rights who had been subjected to female genital mutilation and threatened with murder by Islamic fundamentalists for being “anti-Islam.” This year, Brandeis selected as its commencement speaker a former U.S. State Department careerist who thinks the state of Palestine exists and that “Palestine” “granted” to Israel land that “Palestine” had been “assigned” in 1947.

That former administration official, Thomas Pickering, wrote a public letter last year encouraging the U.S. administration to stop kowtowing to Israel — and we all know how eager the Obama administration has been to take orders from Jerusalem.

Pickering has the reputation of being extremely anti-Israel even amongst his peers – and for the State Department, that’s quite an achievement. If Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the ardent Zionist and advocate for the disenfranchised (for him the concepts were naturally compatible) for whom Brandeis University was named, could see what his namesake university was doing, he would demand his name be removed.

REVOCATION OF HONORARY DEGREE TO HIRSI ALI

It was just a year ago that Brandeis University withdrew an offer to award an honorary degree Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a world-class humanitarian, because some dimwitted students, aided and abetted by professors with ossified mindsets, insisted the woman was “Islamophobic.” Hirsi Ali, knows from firsthand experience more about Islam than all the mewling students and professors put together.

The suffix “phobic” means an irrational fear of something. Hirsi Ali’s distaste for Islam is as based in reality as it can get.

Dial forward to this spring, when Brandeis commencement and its speakers is once again a topic.

So what does Brandeis University do? Pick a noncontroversial speaker who is deserving of an honorary degree for being a decent human being, perhaps someone with some connection to the university itself? Nah.

BRANDEIS CHOOSES ANTI-ISRAEL ADVOCATE AS COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Instead, Brandeis University announced that its commencement speaker for 2015 is former Ambassador and under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering, someone who fervently believes Israel is inappropriately coddled by the Obama administration and that the Jewish state has stolen land from the mythical land of Palestine, despite the “Palestinians” having graciously conceded a huge chunk of the land “assigned” to the “Palestinians in 1947.”

That’s right, Israel is coddled by the Obama/Kerry approach to the Middle East conflict, according to Pickering. And the “Palestinians” are the magnanimous yet oppressed party on the losing end of the stick with Israel. This view is out of touch with Zionists – whom Brandeis the justice, if not the university, would have hoped a school bearing his name would graduate.

We know Pickering’s positions and ahistorical understandings because, almost exactly a year ago, Pickering and a few of his like-minded public pals signed a letter published as an op-ed calling on this U.S. administration to stop allowing Israel to walk all over it.

You see, in the eyes of Pickering and his well-known Israel-despising co-signers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Siegman, Lee Hamilton, Frank Carlucci and Carla Hills, this administration should man up and stop allowing the world to think it shares Israel’s views about its security needs and its history. Also, time to jettison those annoying facts that support reality.

UNABASHED ZIONISM OF JUSTICE BRANDEIS

But first, you need to know what kind of Zionist Louis Brandeis was. While a secular Jew, Brandeis became an ardent and unabashed Zionist. Not only was he an early president of the Zionist Organization of America, but he believed in territorial control by the Jews of all the land promised for a Jewish State by Lord Balfour in 1917.

Louis Brandeis was a firm believer in helping to arm the Jews who were attempting to create a Jewish state. He insisted that the contours of the Jewish state had to extend to the north, to the “Litani watersheds” which is in the south of what is now Lebanon, and to the east, to the “plain of Jaulan Hauran,” which is now in northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria.

It is in the context of Justice Brandeis’s approach to Zionism that the letter written by Pickering and his fellow anti-Israel pen pals must be understood.

PICKERING PENS SHOCKINGLY ANTI-ISRAEL OP-ED

What follows are some of the more surprising snippets of that letter:

“The United States has allowed the impression that it supports a version of Israel’s security that entails Israeli control of all of Palestine’s [sic] borders and part of its territory.”

“Israel’s confiscation of what international law has clearly established as others’ territory,” Israel’s “illegal land grabs only add to the Palestinian and the larger Arab sense of injustice that Israel’s half-century-long occupation has already generated,” “No Palestinian leader could or would ever agree to a peace accord that entails turning over the Jordan Valley to Israeli control,” “these Israeli demands can hardly justify the permanent subjugation and disenfranchisement of a people  to which Israel refuses to grant citizenship in the Jewish state.”

The Israelis “do not have the right to demand that Palestinians abandon their own national narrative, and the United States should not be party to such a demand.”

The hate-filled five also mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Israel was prepared to make “painful compromises” in his May 2011 speech to a joint session of Congress. According to The Five, every one of the painful compromises – “regarding territory, borders, security, resources, refugees or the location of the Palestinian state’s capital” are ones required of the Palestinian Arabs and “do not reflect any Israeli compromises.”

“Although Palestinians have conceded fully half of the territory assigned to them in the U.N.’s Partition Plan of 1947″ ignoring at least two monumental facts: one, there were no Arabs claiming to be “Palestinians” in 1947, so there was no assignment of land to “Palestinians,” but instead to undifferentiated Arabs in the region, and two, the Arabs to whom the land was assigned refused that assignment and instead chose to go to war rather than have any Jewish state at all in the region.

What are they talking about? There was no concessions by the Arabs, “Palestinians” or otherwise.  Instead, there was a humiliating defeat of the five Arab nations which attacked the tiny ragtag Jewish army and lost.

Pickering and his four pals, after ignoring history, reality, international law and facts, then cheered on what they consider to be the righteous Palestinian Arabs who “are not demanding a single square foot of Israeli territory beyond the June 6, 1967, line.”

So clueless about history are the Pickering plus four, that they again raise the “assigned” territory, attacking Netanyahu for daring to “establish equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian demands,” and insisting that Israel gets still more of the “78 percent of Palestine it already possesses.” Pickering and his pals call this “politically and morally unacceptable,” and demand that the United States “not be party to such efforts.”

BRANDEIS GRINDS IN

When asked why Brandeis chose to honor Pickering, a known anti-Israel public official, a member of the Brandeis Communications team came back – after requesting two extensions – with a woefully shallow response.

Bill Schaller, Brandeis’s “executive director of integrative media,” emailed back that Pickering has had a “long and diverse career, which has often included staunch advocacy for Israel.”

The one example of “staunch” Israeli advocacy Brandeis offered was Pickering’s “efforts to repeal the UN resolution regarding Zionism.”

That resolution, equating Zionism with racism, was passed in 1975 and was finally repealed in 1991.  So even by the University’s lights, Pickering’s last Zionist stand was 24 years ago. And while Pickering may have played a positive role in helping to revoke that heinous United Nations resolution – most people recall New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton as central players – his actions regarding the Jewish State within living memory are alarmingly hostile.

Even the United Nations at one time was not anti-Israel. But that world body is currently considered anti-Israel because of its recent history. Pickering should be judged similarly.

In its statement, Brandeis officials explained that it “engage[es] an outside firm to vet the candidates,” in addition to involving Board members and faculty.

Perhaps the university should consider engaging an outside firm to educate its board members and faculty on the namesake of their university.

The author of this article graduated from Brandeis University in 1980. To honor Justice Brandeis, she has torn up her diploma.

Palestinian Authority School Children: Boycott Israel by Killing Jews [video]

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Palestinian Authority media and schools have escalated incitement of violence against Israel by interviewing children who justify killing Jews for the objective of boycotting Israeli products.

Of course, if the children kill all the Jews, there won’t be any Israeli products to boycott, and that is precisely the point.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated and published a video of an official PA broadcast of a Hebron school’s theater activity aimed at promoting a boycott against Israel.

One charming boy, with a kefiyeh headdress, said:

I came to rehearse the play in order to boycott Israeli products and fight the Jews, kill them, and defeat them. The goal is to boycott Israeli products.

A PA television reporter explained to anyone, such as the U.S. State Dept., who might not understand what was going on, “Instilling the culture of boycotting occupation products in the hearts of children and adolescents was the goal that led the Ministry of Education to place this issue at the center of all school activities throughout the homeland… Through creative activities, [students] expressed different views about support for national products and resistance through boycott.

It is no wonder that Palestinian Authority children think the way do. PMW pointed out that the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education last year “held a sporting event named after a terrorist who placed a bomb in a refrigerator in the center of Jerusalem, murdering 15 and injuring 60.”

Also last year, “The Minister of Culture last year presented an award at a cultural event to Egyptian poet Hesham El-Gakh after he read his poem with the words ‘our enemy is Zion, Satan with a tail.'”

The head of the PA Sports Authority sponsored a ping-pong tournament named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a bus hijacking that ended with the murder of 37 Israelis.

Boycotting Israel justifies killing Jews, ping-pong honors terror, poetry is awarded for defining Zion as Satan, athletic events memorialize terrorists, and the Obama administration insists that peace will come to Israel when it runs out of Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem.

President Obama has to think that way. Otherwise, how could he justify sending American taxpayers’ dollars to the PA?

Bibi Apologizes to Arabs but Obama Does not Apologize to Jews

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has apologized to Israeli Arabs for his Election Day statements urging Jews to counter the “droves of Arabs” at the polls, but President Barack Obama and American media have not apologized to Netanyahu for falsely representing his remark.

The New York Times lead off the hit parade of Netanyahu-bashers by calling the Prime Minister’s remarks a smack of “racism.” and Obama picked up the thread by accusing Netanyahu of inciting racism.

But what did Netanyahu actually say? Here is his quote, widely reported by thousands of news outlets:

Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses.

That’s it. He did not imply or even suggest that Arabs should not vote. He simply stated that because Arabs are “coming out in droves” to vote, presumably for the Joint Arab List that might agree to allow a left-wing coalition government, Jews needed to show up at the polls and vote for the Likud.

The New York Times editorial the day after the elections reads as if Netanyahu had said something else. The editorial stated:

This outrageous appeal to hard-line voters implied that only he could save Israel from its enemies, including the country’s Arab citizens, who represent 20 percent of the population and have long been discriminated against….

In his desperation, Mr. Netanyahu resorted to fear-mongering and anti-Arab attacks.

Anti-Arab? “Enemies.” That is what The New York Times may wish Netanyahu had said, but fiction makes for good reading at the Times.

President Barack Obama followed by stating,

Although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly.

And I think that that is what’s best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.

Where, pray tell Mr. President, did Netanyahu even hint that Jews and Arabs are not treated equally?

The president’s reaction, along with that of the NY Times and the Israel anti-Netanyahu media, is an egregious libel  based on a non-truth and a twisted interpretation that is unparalleled outside of dictatorial regimes where truth is another word for a lie.

Netanyahu’s comments certainly were undiplomatic and offensive in a country where the Arabs are a minority and often discriminated against, but they were not racist by any stretch of the imagination. They simply touched a raw nerve by referring to Arabs as a political group that could block a right-wing government.

He apologized Monday, stating that he “knows my comments last week offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli-Arab community. This was never my intent. I apologize for this. I view myself as the prime minister of each and every citizen of Israel, without any bias of religion, ethnicity or gender.”

But President Obama, The New York Times and the Israeli establishment media have not flipped to  the other side of the coin.

If it is wrong for Netanyahu to scare Jews into voting by warning that the Arabs might usher in a left-wing government, is it kosher for  pro-Arab groups to urge Arabs to vote to counter Jewish right-wing ballots?

In the weird world of truth in the bankrupt left, the end justifies the means when it comes to defeating the right wing.

At least two pro-Arab groups, The Abraham Fund and Ameinu, have admitted to organizing a campaign to urge Arabs to vote, and  there is suspicion that The Abraham Fund may have done so with the help of the American taxpayer.

The Abraham Fund’s election campaign slogan was “Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.”

It launched a “Broad-Based Action Plan to Increase the Participation of Arab Citizens in upcoming Elections for Knesset.” The Abraham Fund, based in Jerusalem, New York City and London,  stated that it “focuses its plans on a number of areas including running conferences for Arab students in colleges and launching a media and advertising campaign to persuade the Arab public to participate in the democratic process and vote in the elections.”

Fair enough, but targeting Arabs to vote is no less “racist” than targeting Jews to vote, regardless of the reason.

But it is not fair if State Dept. grants are used to encourage Arabs, and not Jews, to vote.

WorldNetDaily journalist Aaron Klein reported, “In 2010, the State Department provided the Abraham Fund a $999,715 three-year grant for an education initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. Another part of the grant was designated to a project with the Israeli security services aimed at fostering closer Arab-Jewish ties.

“Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund, told KleinOnline the U.S. government funds are not being utilized for the voter-participation drive.

“‘The initiative is being paid for by private donations from donors interested in Arab participation,’ he said.

“He acknowledged, however, that ‘some (money for the project) comes from our core funding at the Abraham Fund. Since our workers are getting paid anyway, some of their job is dedicated to the vote project.'”

Another group that tried to get more Arabs to vote in last week’s elections is Ameinu, an American non-profit organization. It director Kenneth Bob said at a J Street panel Sunday, “We helped put together a get-out-the-vote effort in the Arab community.”

He confirmed charges by Netanyahu that U.S.-funded groups were behind the move to bring Arabs to the polls. The Washington Free Beacon quoted Bob as saying, “When Bibi spoke about the tens of millions of dollars pouring into this effort, my only correction was it wasn’t tens of millions. He exaggerated a little bit.”

The Free Beacon reported in February on a confidential memo drafted by Ameinu in December 2014 outlining the Arab-targeted initiative led by the group Givat Haviva, which “brought a delegation of Arab-Israeli mayors to the United States in February to meet with Democratic leaders and learn political organizing techniques.

“The State Department expedited the mayors’ visas, according to internal correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon.

“One week before the trip, Darawshe and other Givat Haviva representatives also met with high-ranking American diplomats, including the deputy mission chief, at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to discuss the planned visit.”

No one has apologized for encouraging Arabs, but not Jews, to vote in the elections.

Overwhelming Majority of Americans View Fear a Nuclear Iran

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Seventy-seven percent of Americans view the development of nuclear weapons by Iran as a critical threat to the United States, according to a new Gallup poll.

An even larger number, 84 percent, responded that the Islamic State and international terrorism are critical threats.

And what about the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict?

It is down in sixth place, after military power of North Korea and Russia, with 49 percent viewing it a critical threat and 41 percent seeing it is an “important” threat. Next in line are the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the economic power of China.

Gallup concluded:

ISIS and international terrorism loom largest in Americans’ minds as critical threats to U.S. interests. In a winter that has seen acts of unspeakable terrorism, with Obama seeking authorization for military action against the Islamic State, Americans are clearly concerned about Islamic militants and terrorists.

The conflict in Ukraine may not worry Americans as much because they see it as more of a threat to Europe than to the U.S.

And that helps explain why President Barack Obama does not want Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu talking to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat, even if there were not elections in Israel.

He would rather distract Americans and talk about the peace process, but no one really cares.

 

 

Tel Aviv U. Cancels Talk by Former Arab Prisoner for Land Day

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Tel Aviv University has cancelled the appearance at a campus event of a former Arab prisoner jailed by Israel for his activities on behalf of the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

Mohammed Kana’ane, an Arab-Israeli who spent four-and-a-half years in prison, was invited to speak Monday by the left-wing Hadash and Balad student groups at a conference for Land Day, which marks the deaths of six Galilee Arabs in 1976 during riots over a government decision to expropriate land for what it called security purposes.

Land Day took place on March 30.

“In light of concern for public order in the Land Day events scheduled to be held tomorrow, and since the request to approve Kana’neh’s participation was only received recently, leaving no time for preparations, the University does not approve his participation in the event,” the university said in a statement released late Sunday. The statement said that other Land Day events would go forward as planned.

A Sunday protest on campus by Jewish student groups called for the speech to be canceled.

The university last week had issued a statement saying it would allow the event to go forward in an effort to respect students’ right to freedom of speech, which it apparently thought includes screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

JTA contributed most of the material for this report.

Obama’s Foreign Fiasco

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

It’s a privilege to be an American who works on foreign policy, as I have done since the late 1970s, participating in a small way in the grand project of finding my country’s place in the world. But now, under Barack Obama, decisions made in Washington have dramatically shrunk in importance. It’s unsettling and dismaying. And no longer a privilege.

Whether during the structured Cold War or the chaotic two decades that followed, America’s economic size, technological edge, military prowess, and basic decency meant that even in its inactivity, the U.S. government counted as much or more in world developments than any other state. Sniffles in Washington translated into influenza elsewhere.

Weak and largely indifferent presidents like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton mattered despite themselves, for example in the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 or the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1990s. Strong and active presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had greater impact yet, speeding up the Soviet collapse or invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

But now, with Barack Obama, the United States has slid into shocking irrelevance in the Middle East, the world’s most turbulent region. Inconstancy, incompetence, and inaction have rendered the Obama administration impotent. In the foreign policy arena, Obama acts as though he would rather be the prime minister of Belgium, a small country that usually copies the decisions of its larger neighbors when casting votes at the United Nations or preening morally about distant troubles. Belgians naturally “lead from behind,” to use the famed phrase emanating from Obama’s White House.

Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo was a very long time ago.

Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo was a very long time ago.

Qatar (with a national population of 225,000) has an arguably greater impact on current events than the 1,400-times-larger United States (population: 314 million). Note how Obama these days takes a back seat to the emirs of Doha: They take the lead supplying arms to the Libyan rebels, he follows. They actively help the rebels in Syria, he dithers. They provide billions to the new leadership in Egypt, he stumbles over himself. They unreservedly back Hamas in Gaza, he pursues delusions of an Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” Toward this end, the U.S. secretary of state made six trips in four months to Israel and the Palestinian territories in pursuit of a diplomatic initiative that almost no one believes will end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Doha, now more influential than Washington in the Middle East.

Doha, now more influential than Washington in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the U.S. secretary of defense called Egyptian leader Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi 17 times in conversations lasting 60-90 minutes, yet failed in his pleas that Sisi desist from using force against the Muslim Brotherhood. More striking yet, Sisi apparently refused to take a phone call from Obama. The $1.5 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt suddenly looks paltry in comparison to the $12 billion from three Persian Gulf countries, with promises to make up for any Western cuts in aid. Both sides in Egypt’s deep political divide accuse Obama of favoring the other and execrate his name. As dozens of Coptic churches burned, he played six rounds of golf. Ironically, Egypt is where, four long years ago, Obama delivered a major speech repudiating George W. Bush policies with seeming triumph.

Obama’s ambitions lie elsewhere – in augmenting the role of government within the United States, as epitomized by Obamacare. Accordingly, he treats foreign policy as an afterthought, an unwelcome burden, and something to dispatch before returning to juicier matters. He oversees withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan with little concern for what follows. His unique foreign policy accomplishment, trumpeted ad nauseam, was the execution of Osama bin Laden.

So far, the price to American interests for Obama’s ineptitude has not been high. But that could change quickly. Most worrisome, Iran could soon achieve nuclear breakout and start to throw its newfound weight around, if not to deploy its brand-new weapons. The new regime in Egypt could revert to its earlier anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism; already, important elements in Egypt are calling for rejection of U.S. aid and termination of the peace treaty with Israel.

As an American who sees his country as a force for good, these developments are painful and scary. The world needs an active, thoughtful, and assertive United States. The historian Walter A. McDougall rightly states that “The creation of the United States of America is the central event of the past four hundred years” and its civilization “perturbs the trajectories of all other civilizations just by existing.” Well not so much perturbation these days; may the dismal present be brief in duration.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lions-den-daniel-pipes/obamas-foreign-fiasco/2013/08/21/

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